The “Dad Bod” is taking the internet by storm. Generally described as a man who is more about pizza than push ups, it has created quite a discussion about male beauty standards. And it has also allowed men to experience the hypocrisy that women experience every single day.
The “Dad Bod” is used to refer to men who prefer beer and curry to salad. They are not ridiculously overweight, but equally they are several gym sessions away from a washboard stomach. Some prominent examples of the Dad Bod are Leonardo Di Caprio, Seth Rogan and Jon Hamm, to name but a few. There are many sites which are jumping in on trying to determine exactly what constitutes a “Dad Bod”, even the New York Times is getting in on the act.
Many of the articles I have already read online have comment sections full of men complaining that chubby men are no better that skinny men, and that you don’t have to be fat to be lovable. While this is true, it also shows that men are waking up to the double standards which are portrayed in the media every day about beauty. Men have always had monopoly on deciding what is attractive, and now the tables have turned they are not happy.
“We should be promoting health rather than size, size 32 is not healthier than size 2”
I was thinking about the plus-size model Tess Holliday, and how ridiculous it was for her to claim to be a role model for young women when she was endangering her health, when any size 0 model would be condemned for making similar statements. Women are constantly bombarded with conflicting messages about “loving their body” while also getting “beach body ready.” The wires have become so crossed that it is impossible to know whether it is more attractive to be thin or curvy in 2015. We should be promoting health rather than size, size 32 is not healthier than size 2, and people who maintain a healthy lifestyle and have a natural body shape should be the ones claiming to be role models. Women are faced with an uphill battle to be thought of as “attractive”, and these double standards have generally been set by men.
But now these same men are facing their own hypocrisy, and they really don’t like it. Of course male beauty standards have always existed, but until now it has been generally felt that the athletic physique was desirable and that anything else didn’t quite cut the mustard. It has always been acceptable for men to say they prefer a curvier woman over a slimmer one, but now that women are saying they would prefer a Seth Rogan over a Channing Tatum, the men are outraged. I saw one guy claiming that it is only women who aren’t capable of getting a “hunk” who will settle for a fat guy instead. Can you imagine if a woman had said the same about a guy who preferred Holly Willoughby to Megan Fox?
I, for one, am glad for the emergence of the “Dad Bod”, and for two reasons. Firstly, my better half is the proud owner of a dad bod, and he is finally accepting that it is not just me who finds his physique attractive. Secondly, it had brought men and women together in a shared sense of hypocrisy. Men are finally experiencing what it is like to be presented with a Catch 22 of beauty standards, where they are expected to be simultaneously chubby but athletic, slim but capable of eating an entire pizza. For once it is men who are being put on a pedestal for women to critique, and my sincere hope is that it will eventually lead to the annihilation of hypocritical beauty standards. Hopefully we can get to a stage where health triumphs over appearance, for the good of males and females alike.